Jury to Sort Through La Perla Overtime Claims
(CN) - The chef-owner of La Perla, a top Italian restaurant near Georgetown, may be liable to two workers suing for overtime, a federal judge ruled.
Moises and Jose Guevara sued the restaurant's parent company, Ischia Inc., and chef-owner Vittorio Testa, alleging that they regularly worked overtime hours for which they were never compensated.
Moises, a line cook, and Jose, a dishwasher, said they were instead paid flat weekly salaries that never fluctuated, despite their hours worked. For Jose, this allegedly meant that he earned below the District of Columbia's $8.25 minimum wage.
U.S. District Judge John Bates granted the workers summary judgment Friday on the issue of Testa's status as an employer.
Other issues must go to a jury, however, the court found, noting that the record is still sparse at this stage of the proceedings.
"Summary judgment is inappropriate on this lean record; the factual uncertainties at the heart of the case will need to be resolved by a jury," he wrote.
"On this record, a reasonable jury cold come to more than one conclusion as to whether the Guevaras ever worked uncompensated overtime," Bates added.
A fine Italian dining restaurant, La Perla opened on Pennsylvania Avenue in late 2002.
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